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Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018

The LCA agrees that:

(a) there are significant shortcomings in the dual family law courts structure (of the FCoA and FCC) and the management of the family law system;

(b) government, the courts and the legal sector must work to improve outcomes for families and children following the breakdown of relationships;

(c) it is timely for the Government to have commissioned the ALRC to undertake a far-reaching review of the Australian family law system;

(d) where parties cannot resolve matters themselves following relationship breakdown, the Australian family law system must deliver them justice in the form of multiple avenues by which a timely, efficient and cost-effective resolution of disputes can occur and which provides protection for the vulnerable and for victims of family violence. However, there will always be a need for a properly resourced and functioning court system to provide both a context within which disputes can be resolved and a just means by which those not otherwise able to be resolved can be determined; and

(e) the move to a single point of entry, harmonisation of rules and forms, and unification of procedures, will assist users of the family law courts system and the practitioners who operate within it and lead to reduced costs and greater certainty of outcomes. This is a matter which has been raised previously by LCA. The rule making power presently exists to the Courts to implement this reform. There is no legislation required to enable this to occur.

You can read the full submission below.

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